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the best companies for hifi all in one systems
takeshibeat
post Sep 12 2012, 16:50
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i ve had a sony all in one hifi system which i bought 1998 if i remember correct
after a half year i started to have problems with cd player on it , i sended it to a hifi repair service where they fixed the problem but soon aproximately 2 mounths after the repairation the same problems started again,
my second hifi all in one system was sharp and it to damaged itself after 2 years
some guys told me i should buy components and that they would last longer but it doesnt have sense to me
since i can only listen to music via headphones because i live in a flat that has very poor sound isolation and my room
is to small for components
so i wanted to ask which companies make best (all in one) hifi systems with the longest lifetime
i was satisfied with the sound of both of my hifi which i ve head but they didn t last long and i spended lots of money on the first one
i ve saw on the net that today s hifi systems have the possibility that you listen to music on them via usb so i guess it would last long (i listen music via usb 5 years allready on my laptop and dont have any kind of problem)
if any of you could give me some names of the companies that make the best all in one hifi systems with the longest lifetime i would be very thankful
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2Bdecided
post Sep 12 2012, 18:05
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My 1993 Denon mini system is still just about working. It would still be near-perfect if it wasn't for curious toddlers.

I'm not sure I'd bother with a hi-fi these days if I just wanted to use headphones though.

Cheers,
David.
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DVDdoug
post Sep 12 2012, 19:07
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I don't know who makes reliable electronics.... It seems like everything is now made in China, but I'm sure some companies have better quality control than others.

Rather than worrying too much about reliabilty, my approach is to buy inexpensive electronics and replace it if it fails in a couple of years.

Since we are not talking about headphones or speakers, you shouldn't have to worry too much about sound quality. (I will pay more for better sound.)

Expensive stuff might last longer, but it might fail too. And when expensive stuff fails, I get angry! I usually don't get too upset if something cheap dies. And usually even the expensive stuff is not worth repairing... Even if it's cheaper to repair than it was to buy it, often you can buy something at Wal-Mart that does the same thing for less than the repair.

QUOTE
...since i can only listen to music via headphones...

... i ve saw on the net that today s hifi systems have the possibility that you listen to music on them via usb so i guess it would last long...

...(i listen music via usb 5 years allready on my laptop and dont have any kind of problem)
Yes. Usually it's the mechanical things that fail, like the CD player. (or hard drive). But, switches & controls are also mechanical. Connectors can wear-out or break too.

I assume you are talking about a USB hard drive? Selecting/accessing the songs can be "tricky" if you don't have a computer. If you want to do that, a better option is to get a hi-fi with an iPod interface. Or, if the hi-fi has an line-input (or "aux" input) you can connect the headphone-output from your laptop into your hi-fi. (I have an "extra" laptop connected like that to my living-room stereo.)

QUOTE
i listen music via usb 5 years allready on my laptop and dont have any kind of problem)
So, like David said... Maybe you don't need a hi-fi?
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takeshibeat
post Sep 12 2012, 19:49
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the soundcard which is integrated in my laptop is poor quality
i have sennheiset hd 598 headphones and which ever headphones i connect to laptop the sound is not good because the soundcard is bad
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trout
post Sep 12 2012, 20:48
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QUOTE (takeshibeat) *
the soundcard which is integrated in my laptop is poor quality

This problem could be solved, inexpensively, by a USB device.
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takeshibeat
post Sep 12 2012, 21:57
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how can it be sold?
and with what kind of usb device
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DVDdoug
post Sep 12 2012, 23:26
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You can get a USB soundcard. There are also some good USB "headphone amplifiers" made by FiiO.

I have this USB soundcard. I sounds fine to me, and the noise-level is very low. With no sound playing there I can't hear any background noise in my headphones... With no sound playing I can't tell if the headphones are plugged-in or not!

Although it has good sound quality, I just bought this one to have as an extra soundcard for troubleshooting. If I was buying one for sound quality, I'd probably buy a more expensive one (maybe one from Turtle Beach or Sound Blaster). And, I'd probably stay away from the super-cheap ones... I've seen USB soundcards online for less than $5 USD.

An external USB soundcard is isolated from the electrical noise inside the computer, so it's easier to make a quieter one. (Of course in the real world, all USB soundcards are not quieter than all internal soundcards/soundchips.)



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probedb
post Sep 13 2012, 08:11
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QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 12 2012, 19:49) *
the soundcard which is integrated in my laptop is poor quality
i have sennheiset hd 598 headphones and which ever headphones i connect to laptop the sound is not good because the soundcard is bad


Buy an USB soundcard. I personally use a FiiO E7 with my work desktop.
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takeshibeat
post Sep 13 2012, 10:14
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i wanted to buy a usb dac-nuforce udac2 because there s a shop in my country which has it
a little problem is that i must order it , i cant try it on my laptop before i buy it because the shop is in a city which is far away from mine
many people told me if i connect this dac to my laptop and listen to music via dac that my bad soundcard(realtek high definition audio) from laptop wont have any more influence on the quality of the sound .
is that true?
and i know that it is possible to connect that dac with usb cable to laptop but many told me if i connect this udac2
to my laptop via usb cable that i would get limited sound quality and that i cannot get maximum music quality from the dac and that i cannot listen to music with 24bit
they told me that i must connect the dac to laptop on a special way but i cant remember now everything they wrote to me
if someone could explain that to me i woud be very thankful

This post has been edited by takeshibeat: Sep 13 2012, 10:17
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lisag
post Sep 13 2012, 13:31
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I also had 2 all-in-one Sony hi-fi's in the 90s, and both of them went kaput within a few years. With both of them it was the CD player that stopped working, which seems to be the weak point of these kinds of systems. To clarify, OP, are you looking for an all-in-one that includes a CD player? Or just a USB port?
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skamp
post Sep 13 2012, 15:15
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QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 13 2012, 11:14) *
and i know that it is possible to connect that dac with usb cable to laptop but many told me if i connect this udac2
to my laptop via usb cable that i would get limited sound quality and that i cannot get maximum music quality from the dac and that i cannot listen to music with 24bit


That's not true, according to the product's web page:
QUOTE
USB native bit rate: 32, 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz, 24-bit


Note that it's allegedly a rather bad product.

This post has been edited by skamp: Sep 13 2012, 15:18


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Boiled Beans
post Sep 13 2012, 16:17
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I've just bought a mini all in one Panasonic hi-fi for my bedroom. My previous mini hi-fi was also a Panasonic and lasted close to 10 years before the CD player started failing.

Anyway, I have some advice for you. Make sure you bring some of your personal CDs to test for these functions.

1) Ability to play gapless. The Samsung hi-fi are unable to play gapless. It seems they use a computer drive, instead of a proper CD drive.
2) Ability to play HTOA. None of the all in one hi-fis units I tested at the store were able to play HTOA. Philips, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Samsung, Sony. Even the Panasonic I bought couldn't play HTOA. My previous Panasonic could though.
3) Proper pregap display. Many hi-fis can't display the countdown before the track starts. It appends it to the previous track.
4) Ability for de-emphasis. No hi-fis I tested had this function.
5) Intuitive functions. Make sure the functions are intuitive, like selecting tracks using the remote control. The Samsung had awkward selection, like a TV, where to select track 2, you would key in '0' then '2', instead of just pressing '2' on the remote. Also check for intuitive display, like the unit showing the total time of the CD after loading the CD.

I settled on the Panasonic eventually because it could display pregaps properly, and had intuitive functions.

This post has been edited by Boiled Beans: Sep 13 2012, 16:27
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2Bdecided
post Sep 13 2012, 18:17
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Sep 12 2012, 19:07) *
Rather than worrying too much about reliabilty, my approach is to buy inexpensive electronics and replace it if it fails in a couple of years.
That Denon mini system with Mission speakers was £720 in 1993. I've seen many friends buying £100 stereos in that time and replacing them every 1-2 years. Who has spent less? Who has the better stereo? wink.gif

If we weren't talking about all-in-one systems, you could buy vintage "expensive" stuff that isn't expensive, and can usually be repaired.

Cheers,
David.
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takeshibeat
post Sep 13 2012, 19:40
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i think i will buy YAMAHA PianoCraft MCR-840 black( i think it will be a good combination with my sennheiser hd 598)
if the cd player will get damaged, then i can listen music to the same hifi system via usb stick(mp3 320cbr)
and if the usb jack slot will broke , then i can listen to music on the same hifi via ipod (on ipod dock)
so i think it will last five years
what do you people think ?
will that hifi system last 5years approximately?
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mzil
post Sep 13 2012, 23:29
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I would suggest buying three things instead of that Yamaha preconfigured system (of three things): a receiver, a disc player (I'd go BD with networking capability, but that's me), and a pair of speakers. The speakers and recvr will last 5 years, but the disc player may fail. If it does, you buy a new one to replace it. They will be $50 or so, then.

This post has been edited by mzil: Sep 13 2012, 23:48
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Sep 14 2012, 15:35
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QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 12 2012, 14:49) *
the soundcard which is integrated in my laptop is poor quality
i have sennheiset hd 598 headphones and which ever headphones i connect to laptop the sound is not good because the soundcard is bad


Ever run the freebie Audio Rightmark tests on it, or look the chipset up on the web?

If your laptop's sound system sounds like C&@%, then I feel your pain. My old laptop made ugly noises over the headphone jack whenever the hard drive ran.

In contrast, at $30 the Behringer UCA 202 could be a good cheap fix. This review lays out the issues:

Good technical Review
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mzil
post Sep 14 2012, 17:25
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Sep 14 2012, 10:35) *
at $30 the Behringer UCA 202 could be a good cheap fix. This review lays out the issues:

Good technical Review

Considering his stated headphone's 50 ohm impedance, by my read, that review site you linked to wouldn't recommend the UCA202 for his application, based on the UCA202's output impedance (also 50 ohm):

QUOTE
Most of these headphones are 80 – 600 ohms and would work reasonably well with the Behringer depending on how loud you want to listen and their sensitivity. But with typical 16 to 32 ohm portable headphones, it’s a different story. Here the UCA202 struggles.

... If you want a headphone amp, and happen to have some 80 – 600 ohm fairly efficient headphones, the UCA202 is also worth considering.

...The headphone output, on the other hand, works best with fairly efficient high impedance professional or studio-type headphones (with an impedance in the 80 – 600 ohm range). For typical 16 – 32 ohm headphones you probably won’t be that happy unless they’re really efficient or you like to listen at low levels. There may also be some significant frequency response variations due to the impedance

Is there something I'm missing?

This post has been edited by mzil: Sep 14 2012, 18:16
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Sep 14 2012, 21:42
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QUOTE (mzil @ Sep 14 2012, 12:25) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Sep 14 2012, 10:35) *
at $30 the Behringer UCA 202 could be a good cheap fix. This review lays out the issues:

Good technical Review

Considering his stated headphone's 50 ohm impedance, by my read, that review site you linked to wouldn't recommend the UCA202 for his application, based on the UCA202's output impedance (also 50 ohm):

QUOTE
Most of these headphones are 80 – 600 ohms and would work reasonably well with the Behringer depending on how loud you want to listen and their sensitivity. But with typical 16 to 32 ohm portable headphones, it’s a different story. Here the UCA202 struggles.

... If you want a headphone amp, and happen to have some 80 – 600 ohm fairly efficient headphones, the UCA202 is also worth considering.

...The headphone output, on the other hand, works best with fairly efficient high impedance professional or studio-type headphones (with an impedance in the 80 – 600 ohm range). For typical 16 – 32 ohm headphones you probably won’t be that happy unless they’re really efficient or you like to listen at low levels. There may also be some significant frequency response variations due to the impedance

Is there something I'm missing?


If you check out their frequency response at Head Fi HD 598 review
there is a very broad approximate 15 dB rise around 100-120 Hz. There is also a ery broad approximate 5:1 rise in the impedance curve. They will approximately compensate for each other if the source impedance is about 50 ohms. Go figure!
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mzil
post Sep 14 2012, 22:30
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Sep 14 2012, 16:42) *
If you check out their frequency response at Head Fi HD 598 review
there is a very broad approximate 15 dB rise around 100-120 Hz. There is also a ery broad approximate 5:1 rise in the impedance curve. They will approximately compensate for each other if the source impedance is about 50 ohms. Go figure!

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. If I understand correctly, are you saying [to paraphrase], "Yes, technically there will be an expected alteration in the frequency response when pairing the HD 598 with the UCA202, however considering the nature of this headphone's natural frequency response [with the broad rise around 100-120 Hz, you just described] this actually would be desirable, in that the net effect would be to achieve an overall flatter frequency response at the ear." ? Did I get that right?

This post has been edited by mzil: Sep 14 2012, 23:03
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Sep 15 2012, 03:18
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QUOTE (mzil @ Sep 14 2012, 17:30) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Sep 14 2012, 16:42) *
If you check out their frequency response at Head Fi HD 598 review
there is a very broad approximate 15 dB rise around 100-120 Hz. There is also a ery broad approximate 5:1 rise in the impedance curve. They will approximately compensate for each other if the source impedance is about 50 ohms. Go figure!

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. If I understand correctly, are you saying [to paraphrase], "Yes, technically there will be an expected alteration in the frequency response when pairing the HD 598 with the UCA202, however considering the nature of this headphone's natural frequency response [with the broad rise around 100-120 Hz, you just described] this actually would be desirable, in that the net effect would be to achieve an overall flatter frequency response at the ear." ? Did I get that right?


Yes.
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lisag
post Sep 18 2012, 13:23
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The best micro hi-fi's currently recommended by WhatHiFi are by Denon, Marantz, and Ruark. They might be a little more than what you're willing to spend, though!
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2Bdecided
post Sep 21 2012, 11:19
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QUOTE (lisag @ Sep 18 2012, 13:23) *
The best micro hi-fi's currently recommended by WhatHiFi are by Denon, Marantz, and Ruark. They might be a little more than what you're willing to spend, though!
I know for a fact that some reviews (I'm not claiming that those reviews are in What HiFi) are written without the reviewer and the equipment ever being in the same building, never mind with the equipment unboxed and in use in the same room as the reviewer. Many do of course listen to the equipment, but are utterly clueless and just copy the mostly meaningless words from another positive or negative review as they see fit. Remember: they're paid for words, not truth.

We rightly mock the double-blind-free zone that is stereophile, but at least they listen to the equipment. Expectation bias may cause some of those reviews to be utterly bizarre and IMO worthless (Fremer light cable review) except as entertainment, but sometimes the subjective reviews (and always the objective measurements) tell you something about the equipment that didn't come straight from the manufacturer. You don't get this from a "reviewer" who is just re-writing the manufacturer's press release.

That said, I'd guess that the What HiFi favourites are decent stereos - I just wouldn't stake my life on them being the best out there for the price.

Cheers,
David.
(who bought that Denon mini system and Mission speakers on the advice of What HiFi, and a decent listening session at a local hifi shop)
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lisag
post Sep 28 2012, 14:23
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Ha, yes! Well I suppose I should be a bit more cynical about product reviews. However, I think What Hifi is fairly unbiased (although I can't say exactly what their review process is!).
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mzil
post Sep 28 2012, 14:56
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The important thing is to understand is that humans, without exception, are biased, and prone to "hearing things" [illusions]. Also, understanding that this is a major problem doesn't suddenly make one personally exempt from the rule, themselves!

This is why double blind testing (or other protocols which completely preclude expectation bias) is the golden rule in science.
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